Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Date: November 27, 1918

Location: Bismarck Archipelago
Situation:  Belated Silence
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After four years of horrific and weary conflict, World War I thankfully ended. The Armistice signed in Compiègne ordered all hostilities to cease from 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918. Guns at first fell silent in old Europe. On the 14th. most of the Kaiser's U-Boats were interred. Eleven days later von Lettow Vorbeck surrendered in eastern Africa. Much father away, news of the end of the war arrived more slowly in the Bismarck Archipelago.

November 27, 1918: Day dawned peacefully for inhabitants on the Island of Malabascar.

Not knowing the war was over, a hunter had come inshore to prey upon the unsuspecting.... 

German Gunboat Luchs of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Surprised, Luchs fired a few hasty salvos in reply but soon lowered her flag. Korvettenkapitän Feissler immediately and angrily communicated to the Royal Navy Gunboat Zanzibar that the war had been over since the 11th instant. Fortunately there was no injury or loss of life. --- The guns then belatedly fell silent honoring the restoration of peace - here - too.

Later as the sun began to set....

Zanzibar departed Malabascar at high speed for open water. Strangely....

She came upon an uncommunicative U-Boat. A shot was fired across her bows; the international signal to stop and heave to. The grey wolf did not acknowledge, reduce speed or obey.

Since the submarine would not stop, more shots were fired. One severed the flag halyard. Another hit her after compartment producing a plume of black smoke. Wounded, she began an emergency dive.

The unmarked boat continued her descent into the abyss.

To be seen no more.

Lieutenant Ripon: "We've lost her Captain."
Captain Paten: "Commence a circular search pattern."

Able Seaman Fiennes: "Captain we fished her battle ensign from the sea. There were two bodies and debris in the flotsam too."
Lieutenant Ripon: "Sunk Sir?"
Captain: Paten: "Perhaps."

Three hours later:
Captain Paten: "I dare say that's enough searching. The war is over. Lay a course for Darwin."
Lieutenat Ripon: "Aye Captain. Set course for Darwin. Lookouts continue to report nothing in sight." 

Except Zanzibar.

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1. Zanzibar and Luchs are singular and lovely designs from the artistic hands of Richard Houston. Luchs is on loan from the collection of my friend Jim P.  Contact The Virtual Armchair General for other one of a kind naval models in 28mm scale. See:  http://www.thevirtualarmchairgeneral.com/

2. The grey wolf is owned by and was artfully painted by my friend Chuck L. It is available from Brigade Games. See: http://brigadegames.3dcartstores.com/

3. Flag Dude was commissioned for the WWI British and German naval ensigns. See:  http://www.flagdude.com/

4. Photos of real locations were taken by me while cruising. Can you identify Malabascar? I was there in March 2014.

5. Would you kindly oblige me with your remarks below at the word Comments? 
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PS: Look for the next chapter in August 2014. 
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